1. CLEARANCE FOR ‘DHANUSH’ ARTILLERY GUN
In a major success story of ‘Make in India’ initiative, Bulk Production Clearance for producing 114 indigenous ‘Dhanush’ artillery gun (155mm x 45 calibre) has been awarded to the Ordnance Factory Board. Dhanush is equipped with inertial navigation-based sighting system, auto-laying facility, on-board ballistic computation and an advanced day and night direct firing system. It is the product of joint efforts by the OFB, Indian Army, DRDO, DGQA, DPSUs such as BEL, PSUs such as SAIL and several private enterprises.
2. VAYU SHAKTI-2019: AIR POWER DEMONSTRATION AT POKHRAN
On February 16, 2019, IAF carried out its mega exercise ‘Vayu Shakti-2019’ at the Pokhran Range in Rajasthan demonstrating its fire power and capability to hit targets accurately. A total of 137 aircraft including Mirage-2000s, Sukhoi-30s, Mig-21s, Jaguars, Mig-27s, Mig-29s, IL78s, C-130 Hercules and AN-32 and various types of helicopters participated in the exercise. The exercise is carried out once every three years. Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa, the Chief of Air Staff, while inaugurating the demonstration said, “We are showcasing our ability to hit hard, hit fast and hit with precision, hit during day, hit during night and hit under adverse weather conditions through our autonomous bombing capability.” The IAF also showcased its indigenously upgraded MiG-29 UPG, the swing role capability of the Tejas aircraft, Akash surface-to-air missile and Astra air-to-air missile. The exercise was witnessed by the Gen Bipin Rawat Chief of the Army Staff, defence attaches of various countries and senior officials of defence ministry.
3. PARALLEL TAXI TRACK OPERATION BY ALL WOMEN CREW
In a first for the IAF, two women aircrew, Squadron Leader Kamaljeet Kaur and her co-pilot Squadron Leader Rakhi Bhandari, undertook Parallel Taxi Track (PTT) Operations in a Dornier 228 aircraft at Sirsa airfield. PTT Operations are carried out to enable unrestricted operations even when the runway is not available due to enemy action/ any other reasons. PTT Operations is a challenging task as the crew is required to land and take off from the taxi track, which is considerably smaller in width than the runway.